The brother-sister duo who turn your child’s artwork into jewellery
There are usually two types of parents – those who keep every artwork, painted rock, family portrait and pasta-shell necklace brought home from kindy and those who throw it away (sorry baby Picasso, sometimes there’s just not enough space in the house to hold onto all of your amazing creations!).
But what if there was a way to preserve your little one’s creations in a sentimental and stylish way that didn’t take up an entire spare room of storage?
Brother-sister duo Demi and Dylan Goldberg are third-generation jewellers whose business Stevie & Sol lets you turn your precious keepsakes into one-of-a-kind bespoke pieces – whether it’s your child’s wobbly handwriting or their adorable drawing of mummy cuddling them.
Demi and Dylan take the sentimentality of jewellery to a whole new level with their creative approach, which is “made by us, but designed by you.” With a streamlined process that allows customers to simply take a picture of their favourite person’s handwriting or artwork, you can then upload it to the product page of their website, and customise the specifics (for example, perhaps you want it brought to life in a sterling silver bracelet or a white gold necklace) then add to cart. It’s as simple as that!
“There’s a lot of custom jewellery out there, but customers have really loved the concept of Stevie & Sol for a one-of-a-kind piece that holds such special meaning. Creating meaningful pieces is the purpose of what we do, and we are so thankful for all of our customers who have trusted us to do this,” Demi tells Kiindred.
Manufactured and homegrown in Melbourne, Stevie & Sol are committed to maintaining an ethical supply chain while delivering customers a high-quality product they’ll have forever.
We caught up with Demi to chat about what it’s like working with her brother, the most powerful pieces she’s ever made and her hopes for the brand’s future.
How did the idea for Stevie & Sol come about and when did you launch into the market?
Dylan has been 3D designing jewellery on CAD for the past five years and I’ve always been a jewellery lover. A few years ago, we floated the idea of working together and how cool that would be but with nothing concrete at the time, the moment came and went.
We had the idea for Stevie & Sol, and once again as a passing comment we thought ‘how cool would this be to do together?’ Our dad, who is also in the jewellery business, encouraged us to follow through and we launched last December, just in time for Christmas.
What was the timeline and process like in terms of ideation to holding that first piece of jewellery in your hand?
Once we decided to launch Stevie & Sol, it was a whirlwind. We knew that it was really important for us to create quality pieces in a style that we love, so perfecting the product was the most important part. This meant months of going back and forth, playing around with sizing and materials before we had our first finished piece. It was a white gold necklace with the word ‘love’ in my handwriting from an old Father’s Day card. The memories added an extra layer to the piece and it’s something I still wear because it’s so sentimental.
What’s the inspiration behind the name of your business?
Stevie is our incredibly cute niece and Sol is for our late grandfather, Solly, who was also a jeweller. The idea behind Stevie & Sol is that our customers create sentimental pieces, designed and inspired by people they love. It just made sense to name the business after two very important people in our life.
You’re a brother and sister team, which is so special! What’s it like working with a sibling?
Working together has been fun. When we first had the idea for Stevie & Sol, we were in lockdown so of course, we spent a lot of time at home together. It wasn’t all fun and games though; creating a business together from home was sometimes challenging. We made it work by creating 3D designs of samples at a desk set up in the spare bedroom. Almost every dinner and evening turned into jewellery talk with our dad, who has taught us everything we know. It’s been a special bonding experience and has brought us closer.
What skills do you both bring to the table?
We always knew we would work well together as we have different skill sets and defined roles from the get-go. Dylan’s high level of attention to detail allows him to create the 3D designs of the jewellery, ensuring the structural ingenuity of each piece and working closely with our manufacturer. I’m ‘the girl behind the screen,’ communicating with customers to understand the vision for their custom piece, creating and managing our website and handling social media.
You’re both third-generation jewellers, how old were you when you learnt to make jewellery?
We have been lucky enough to grow up around our dad’s workshop. Initially, it was joining our dad at work as kids, and then both working casually for him as teenagers. We both loved it! We had such a unique opportunity to learn everything we know from a close-knit group of people who have been working together for many years.
When I was 15, I chose jewellery making for a school project, where my dad taught me how to hand mould wax into custom jewellery designs. These were cast into metals for jewellery and I quickly made a range of necklaces for gifts. I guess it isn’t much of a surprise that I turned it into a business nearly 10 years later.
What were you both doing for work before you started your own business?
Deciding to jump into the deep end of the jewellery industry was a big change for both of us. I have a Bachelor’s degree in education and am currently completing a Master’s of occupational therapy, while also working part-time as a disability support worker.
Dylan is passionate about music and has a Bachelor’s degree in audio (studio production). He creates music in his free time and loves any chance to be creative.
What are some of the most touching items you’ve been commissioned to make?
The beauty of the custom nature of Stevie & Sol is that every piece is meaningful. Our custom drawing necklaces designed by children are the cutest, but it’s exceptionally special when customers choose us to create a sentimental piece using the handwriting of a loved one who has passed.
You must be exposed to so many heartwarming and heartbreaking stories. Do you ever get emotional while making pieces?
My favourite part about doing what we do is receiving feedback from customers. Many are so emotional and grateful after receiving their jewellery designed by a loved one they have lost. It reminds us why we started Stevie & Sol and makes all the hard work worthwhile.
I devote a lot of time going back and forth with customers to ensure their finished piece is exactly how they envisioned, so it’s hard not to feel an emotional connection after developing these relationships.
What’s the process like in terms of receiving an illustration or piece of handwriting to turning it into an item of jewellery?
A customer uploads an image of their design before checking out on our website. I forward it to Dylan, who makes a 3D CAD (computer-aided design software) drawing of the design as either a necklace or bracelet.
The CAD drawing gets 3D printed into a wax, which ultimately gets cast into metal using a process called the lost wax procedure. After this, it’s time for the final touches such as attaching the pendant to a chain, rhodium plating and final polishing.
Parents must love turning to your brand to help create special items for things like birthdays, Father’s Day and Mother’s Day.
We receive a lot of messages from customers who have come across our website and love the idea but are waiting for a special occasion to purchase a piece as a unique gift. Mother’s day is our busiest time of year, and we love chatting with parents to help them choose their child’s perfect design for their partner.
Community, sustainability and ethical production are at the heart of your brand, how are you ensuring this is carried out?
Our biggest point of difference is that we use precious metals that are refined from 100% reclaimed and recycled materials. Our reusable jewellery boxes are made from recycled card and paper, our mailers are compostable, and the custom nature of our jewellery allows us to maintain a made-to-order business model, reducing wastage. We are lucky enough to have made some great connections in the industry through our dad, so we use an ethical supply chain supporting other small businesses in Melbourne.
You’ve also partnered with i=Change to donate $1 of every sale, how important was this to you?
Giving back was a non-negotiable. When a friend introduced us to i=Change and we saw how easy it was, it felt like a no-brainer to support them. The three charities we have chosen are The Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation, Women’s Community Shelters and Greening Australia. These align with our values and we believe it’s important to reflect these in every aspect of the business. We love that i=Change allows customers to choose which charity to support and are transparent with where the money is going.
What has been the biggest challenge of launching your own business?
Our biggest challenge has been learning how to manage the business side of things. We have certainly made a few mistakes, but we know that each challenge has been a learning opportunity to guide us moving forward.
Biggest achievement so far?
We like to celebrate the ‘little wins.’ For us, that’s the amazing feedback we receive from each customer after they receive their piece. It’s so special to know that we can help someone preserve such a precious moment or memory in such a beautiful way.
What words of advice would you give to other people thinking of starting their own business?
Take the plunge! Spend time creating a brand you’re passionate about and proud of, but don’t sweat the small stuff. Before launching I spent a lot of time redesigning web pages, changing styles and planning Instagram feeds. But the truth is, no one was overthinking each minor detail as much as me. Customers want a high-quality product they love, great customer service and authentic relationships.
What’s coming up next for Stevie & Sol?
New custom designs! We have a couple of products in development and are so excited to devote more time to finalising and releasing these next year. We are working on ways that customers can further customise their orders while keeping the process seamless and easy to navigate.
What do you love most about what you do?
Creative freedom, working with family and providing customers with meaningful pieces they love. What more could you ask for?!
What’s the ultimate dream for your brand?
Online shopping is hard, especially when ordering a custom piece without seeing it first. We would love to open a physical space where we can meet with customers to plan their dream pieces together.
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